If you are among the many pet owners who plan to include their pet in upcoming July 4 festivities, you are far from alone. Animal Medical Clinics of Quincy offers these tips to help ensure a safe and happy holiday:

  • Be sure your pet is treated for heartworms, fleas and ticks if it will be outdoors during July 4 festivities. If it has not been treated, now is the time to do so.
  • Before heading to your event, plan ahead knowing that dogs are very quick to know when their owners are not looking and may attempt to help themselves to a snack that could be dangerous. Be cautious if your pet will be going with you to an event with accessible unattended food such as on a picnic table of by the grill. Traditional July 4 fare that can be hazardous and/or even lethal to dogs includes (but is not limited to):  raw meats, onions and garlic, raising and grapes, alcohol, chocolate, marshmallows and more.
  • For outdoor events, plan ahead to be sure your pet will have access to plenty of fresh clean cool water at all times, especially in hot weather. Also be sure your pet has someplace shaded to rest. Never leave your pet in an unattended parked car even for a brief moment.
  • If your dog is one of the many who are afraid of loud noises and/or lots of people being around, plan in advance to ensure that your pet can be properly restrained and monitored so that it doesn’t escape controlled areas (such as fenced in area). Check your dog’s leash and collar and be sure both are in working order to help prevent escape off of its leash.
  • If your dog is fearful of the loud explosive sounds of fireworks, ask your vet about safe anti-anxiety medicines available that do not sedate but instead simply provide a sense of well-being and stress reduction.
  • Be cautious with open flames and any lighting devices used for fireworks. Keep all pets a safe distance from where fireworks are being launched. Be cautious with fireworks on the ground that your pet does not get hit with them or that your pet does not attempt to attack them.
  • Ensure that all parts of fireworks are picked up and out of your yard after firing them so that your pet does not ingest any of these items that can be toxic and cause digestive upset.  Also keep in mind that pieces of recently fired fireworks can be very hot and cause burns.
  • Have your pet micro-chipped in advance of your celebration. It provides an extra safety bonus in the unlikely event that your pet would get loose or lost.

For more information about travel with pets, contact Animal Medical Clinics of Quincy at 217-222-8383 or stop by 2803 Wismann Lane in Quincy.

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